The 6Cs Project Week One: Creativity

Recently I was at a symposium where the keynote speaker made a statement that caught me off guard: “It isn’t that we measure, it is what we measure that is the problem.” I couldn’t agree more but to measure something we have to understand what we are looking for. As we advocate the 6Cs of 21st Century learning represented in Fullan’s From Great to Excellence report for the ministry,  what did we understand each C to represent? So I hit up a few great folks and asked if they would join me on this journey to clarify each of the terms. As we tackle a different one each week we hope that we can start a conversation and build a better understanding of what we are looking for and how to assess it moving forward.

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The Coll-APP-orative: Connecting and Collaborating Through Apps

Earlier this fall I was asked if I would to participate in a blog hop 
where a few of us would blog about our favourite apps. 
How could I resist working with such a wonderful group! 
Below I have shared one of my favourite open ended apps for early learners:Soundbrush. 
You can then continue the blog hop by following the links below the post.

Soundbrush: Painting A Song

Click on the image to download from app store.

Click on the image to download from app store.

I was in search of an open ended app where even our earliest learners could explore and create.

Enter Soundbrush.

Although it’s first edition was a paid app, the current update can be installed for free with in app purchases.

It’s quite simple really. You choose  your instrument from the top left toolbar and use your finger to paint your music on the screen.  Play your music back by using the controls in the middle top toolbar.

Are you proud of your creation? You can share your musical creation by emailing the sound file or uploading it to their site and sharing the link.

An overview

Click on the circles in the top left to add more instruments. The app gives you a set of 4 instruments for free if you tweet out your support. Additional sets can be purchased including a rock pack, jazz pack, orchestral pack and synth pad pack. You choose the colour for each instrument. If you want to channel your inner DJ/musician tap on the synthesizer or wrench to further edit the sound.


So much is possible with the app as you can see in the company’s overview. Your creativity is really the limit! What I love about the soundbrush app is that there is little to no instruction required. Place the iPad in front of the learner and they can begin exploring, interpreting our world in new ways.

The app pulls our young and curious learners into exploring the possibilities, playing with sound and how various sounds interact.

If you like the soundbrush app you may want to explore Musyc or Garageband as well.

Make sure to check out the other blog posts of our Coll-APP-orative blog experience:

An Ecosystem of Trusting Relationships

Do you ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something? You know those moments where it’s a bit like a neon light flashing through the dark night or a billboard you could have sworn you already saw 5 times. At first you are annoyed for the harsh interruption, the repeated message, but after a while it stays with you. You can’t shake it.

For me that flashing light has been RELATIONSHIPS. It seems I can’t avoid it. From keynotes, conferences to workshops, blog posts, news articles to conversations and even readings for my Masters program, the message has been clear that relationships are foundational to learning. I think James Corner said it best:

“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”

Seems simple enough. 

To be completely honest building relationships was much easier with 6 year olds.  As I played and chatted with some friends this week in @K5Kinder  I was reminded how children seem to have this blind trust and brutal honesty that makes personal

relationships just that much easier. How do we build that same trust and honesty as professionals? 

As much as I value the role of relationships in learning and change I worry that I am rushing through, letting the busyness of life and work take over. I have always loved Gandhi’s quote “actions express priorities.”  Are my actions expressing my priorities?

  • Am I taking the time to really get to know people?
  • Am I pausing, listening, encouraging, not just rushing to meet learning goals?
  • Am I taking the time to build trust and forgive when that trust is broken? 

In my current support role, I know that if I want to be part of a change moving forward the best investment of my time is in fostering and building meaningful relationships. I also know that as much as I encourage those networks, communities and relationships for others I have to build that support for myself. I need those trusting friends who will tell me when to blog (thanks @MatthewOldridge), tell me when I need to stop and reflect, challenge me to turn off my devices every now and then or just ask if everything is ok.

Then came Bill Rankin’s keynote at #eli2013 and I took away one final piece of learning about relationships, the fear of a mono culture. I not only need to foster meaningful trusting relationships but I have to make sure that the ecosystem of relationships is diverse and vibrant.

So October may have been connected educators month, but November is the month of relationships for me.